Floating plants - Betta Fish and Betta Fish Care
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-12-2019, 10:30 PM Thread Starter
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Floating plants

What’s a good floating plant for a five-gallon tank? I was thinking frogbit or duckweed, but duckweed seems like it would get everywhere. I have an amazon sword so I’m not sure if I should even get some because there needs to be enough light. But the rest of my plants only need low-level lighting and it would be fun to have some floating plants.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-13-2019, 07:40 AM
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Well Hornwort, And other types of bunch plants make a good floating pant for overhead cover. However here is another way to look at what you'r asking.
I use bunch plants for many different covers. But what I like about them is most of the ones I use for overhead cover I also use as a background plant. Bunch plants grow very well and very fast. As a planted bunch they not only give overhead cover but supply a good many hides for fish. The only time I use a floating plant is for breeding hides. For that I use mostly Hornwort giving the babies protection from above and below. It also helps to trap some of the floating food they feed on so no one starves.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-14-2019, 04:37 PM
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I have some frogbit but doesn't work out. They turned to black.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-14-2019, 08:14 PM
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I have frogbit and I love it! If you’re not using ferts, you’ll need to do that—they are very fast growers and they don’t do well without lots of nutrients to keep them happy. My fish love them and they keep my nitrate level pretty close to zero (it’s 40+ppm out of the tap).
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-14-2019, 10:09 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the information, it’s much appreciated!
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-15-2019, 02:07 AM
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I have tried a few, and frankly they all seem to have pros and cons. :)

Frogbit didn't like my tank, or my light, and just went yellow, one leaf at a time, getting smaller and smaller. I was forever tidying up after it. I think part of the problem may have been the amount of current I have, which caused them to bump about a bit. But I would rather have surface movement than frogbit.

Elodea melts on me. Every time.

Riccia Fluitans is fab - grows well, looks fantastic, my bettas LOVE draping themselves over it, and hovering under it. Except for one teensy little problem - it is made up of thousands of tiny, unconnected strands, and the moment you do a water change, or tweak the tank, those strands break off and snag on other plants and ornaments and start growing there - leading to Riccia outbreaks everywhere. If you have any other moss in the tank, the Riccia will use it as a nice growing medium. lol. I now remove the entire riccia mat before touching anything in the tank, and then put it back afterwards. It would be brilliant for raising fry.

Watersprite is lovely. Eats up nitrates like a hungry elephant. Grows spectacularly and needs pruning with every water change. Love it. Except for the knotty central clumps that grow multiple thick stems and great fuzzball roots. The roots are yellow brown, and start to look dirty, and the light gets obscured. I only use it in a tank where I want masses of surface cover, dim light AND am happy to remove the old growth once a week.

Hornwort is my current favourite, but I prefer the tougher variety (which is more difficult to source). It also doubles in size in a week, but it easier to prune, and easier for my fish to swim through. No untidy roots, and doesn't block the light int he same way. Looks lovely, with its fine, lacey strands.

Having had duckweed sneak in on other plants, and then try to take over the tank, I remove it whenever I see it, but it is really difficult to eradicate, especially if there are other floating plants in the tank.
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70litre tank: mature setup; betta, purple rasboras, male guppies, amano and wood shrimp. Heavily planted.
22litre cube tank: (Tagawa); betta, yellow dwarf shrimp. Pond snails and 1 assassin. Heavily planted.
57litre cube tank: (Midnight) ember tetras, 2 amano, 1 nerite, pond snails, 1 assassin, doing his thing. Heavily planted.
200litre tank; honey gourami, cherry barbs, green neons, otocinclus, nerites, pond snails, amano. Heavily planted.
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